BGC applaud the Ontario government’s regulatory amendments under the Child Care and Early Years Act that exempt certain authorized recreation providers from the three-hour rule.
Across Ontario, BGC serve more than 135,000 children and youth at 319 locations, with both licensed Early Learning & Child Care and Authorized Recreation Programs for school-aged children. Especially in rural areas, the three-hour rule had previously limited the options available for families that needed quality, affordable, and safe before and after school care, which created considerable financial and emotional strain.
Accessibility to before and after school programs is more critical than ever as the province grapples with COVID-19 repercussions and must work to advance an equitable recovery. This new regulatory change will allow BGC to provide both before and after school programs for families in their communities, increasing the number of quality programs available and creating more choice for Ontario families that need it the most. And by allowing only select providers to offer authorized recreation programs for more than three consecutive hours, the provincial government will be able to test this approach, collect data to gauge the effect on the broader child care system, and ensure health and safety is the priority.
BGC have rigorous operating standards and best practices in Ontario and across Canada. We know that regular participation in before and after school programs mitigates the risk of unhealthy behaviours and helps young people develop into healthy, active, and engaged adults.